Have you used up your vacation time this year? If not, you might be working with the burden of unnecessary stress, which can actually reduce your productivity and creativity on the job. Vacations aren’t a luxury, but a necessity, for anyone with a full-time career.
A Tradition of Skipping Vacation
According to Braun Consulting, vacation time available to employees has shrunk over the last few years, and as much as 30 percent of workers give up some or all of their vacation time each year. If you fall into that category, you might want to consider the stress relief, productivity, and health benefits of vacations.
The purpose of a vacation is to unwind, something that many employees just don’t have time for. Between work, family, and other obligations, free time shrinks to almost nothing, and the resulting stress can lead to serious health problems.
Forgoing Vacations Could Lead to Illness
Revolution Health reports that failing to take vacations could increase your risk of heart disease by up to 30 percent. Stress causes high blood pressure, insomnia, anxiety, and a host of other health issues that most of us would rather avoid.
Additionally, fatigue is often associated with “workaholics” who never take a break. Sleep deprivation can cause serious mistakes on the job, which might lead to unemployment. If you aren’t taking time to let your body and mind recuperate every once in a while, you’re putting your health at risk.
Reducing Personal Complications
Couples often argue about money and work commitments. If you’re working all the time and you never take a break, you’re likely to take out your stress on your family, which can cause problems at home. While this isn’t true for every family, failing to take a vacation makes it more likely.
Your family wants to spend time with you. Your friends want the same thing. And you deserve to explore the world beyond your four office or cubicle walls every once in a while. Denying yourself those pleasures will take its toll.
Increasing Productivity and Efficiency
A well-rested mind is an efficient mind. Workers who fail to take vacations every now and again become bogged down in the minutiae of daily life. Fatigue and stress slow down your motor functions and mental faculties, resulting in a drop in productivity.
This is why it is a good idea to spread out your vacations. Taking multiple periods off throughout the year will allow you to recharge your batteries more frequently. You’ll return to work rested and ready to tackle your assignments.
Making the Most of Your Vacation
Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you’re getting all the benefits from it. Taking your laptop and cell phone with you to the pool, for example, probably means you’re working when you should be kicking back with a good book. Calling the office to check in is likewise a bad sign.
In order to get the full benefit of a vacation, it is important to fully extract yourself from you work life. Commit yourself to enjoying your days off, whether you’re traveling with your family or staying home alone. A “staycation” can be just as beneficial as a vacation, so long as you give yourself time to relax, recuperate and enjoy the experience.